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Taxi Times International - October 2015 - English

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NEWS THE TINY TOWN WHERE

NEWS THE TINY TOWN WHERE EVERYONE TAKES TAXIS Whilst cabs are busy in Bethel, Alaska, here in Boston (and in many places in the US) the largest local cab companies have trouble finding drivers to fill shifts. This photo was taken at 11.00 in the morning! PUBLICATION INFORMATION PHOTOS: Peter Schenkman SUBSCRIPTION Fancy Taxi Times? Launch offer! Subscribe to the print issue of Taxi Times now and secure all editions 2015 for free! Simply scan QR code and order free copies! Free trial! In the town of Bethel, Alaska, private cars are prohibitively expensive, just like petrol. There’s no public transport – so most of the 6.000 inhabitants take taxis all the time. Yes, taxis! Bethel has the highest number of taxis per capita. A curious story dug up by The Atlantic tells the story of a small town with only two shuttle buses. Ask just about anyone in town if they’ve ever taken the bus, and they laugh in your face. There are no major roads in and out of Bethel, so bringing in cars makes them twice as expensive as elsewhere. Even used cars are expensive. Petrol is just as expensive as in Europe. And that’s high. But thankfully there are about 70 taxi drivers in Bethel, one for every 85 people, making it the city in America with the most taxis per capita. “In one sense, our cabs are our public transit,” Leif Albertson, the vice-mayor, told The Atlantic. But a surfeit of taxis does not mean that transportation is affordable, either. A ride in town costs per person ($ 1= € 0,88), no matter how short the trip. A ride to the airport, or to the suburbs, costs . A stop en-route costs , plus per minute after three minutes. That starts to add up in a town where 23 percent of the population is below the poverty line. That’s why many people walk. Cabs came to Bethel in 1975 – when two brothers came to town together with many government jobs. They started a cab company, Kusko Cab. The cab companies also diversified Bethel. Looking for employees who had clean driving records and the capital to lease a taxi, companies started to recruit family and friends from overseas. Kusko is now known around town as the ‘Albanian’ cab company because it employs mostly drivers from Albania and Macedonia. The other three cab companies employ mostly Koreans. Driving a cab in Bethel used to be lucrative. Less so now. Taxi drivers are rumoured to make $ 100.000 or more. Asked about that, Joe Yoon, a Korean taxi driver, scoffed. “Not even close,” he said. Yoon estimates that he carries about 80 people a day around Bethel. Insurance costs ,000 a year, and he has to pay the cab company 0 a week, as well as pay for fuel and maintenance costs for his cab. The roads in Bethel, which are all dirt save one, are pretty unforgiving for cars. But to earn some extra cash, some cab drivers have become involved in Bethel’s notorious bootlegging industry, a development the local government is trying to quash. Get into many cabs in Bethel, and ask for alcohol, and the driver will take you to a bootlegger. Other drivers charge a specific amount to drive people around while they drink, Mark Springer, a city councilman, said. Springer recently introduced a bill that would revoke the license of drivers who are found to be selling alcohol from their cabs. wf Publisher taxi-times Verlags GmbH Frankfurter Ring 193a 80807 Munich, Germany Tel: +49 (0) 89 – 14 83 87 91 Fax: + 49 (0) 89 – 14 83 87 89 E-Mail: info@taxi-times.com Web: www.taxi-times.com Managing Director: Jürgen Hartmann Bank details Stadtsparkasse München BLZ 70150000, Account number 1003173828 IBAN: DE89701500001003173828 BIC: SSKMDEMM UST-ID: DE293535109 Handelsregister: Amtsgericht München HRB 209524 Desk Telefon: +49 (0) 89 – 14 83 87 91 Fax: + 49 (0) 89 – 14 83 87 89 E-Mail: redaktion@taxi-times.com Editor in Chief Jürgen Hartmann, j.hartmann@taxi-times.com Managing Editor (International) Wim Faber, w.faber@taxi-times.com Contributors to this issue Florian Osrainik Translation Probicon Layout Clara Gilod, Daniella Heil, Kornelia Jäger, Stephan Krause, Henrike Uthe Lotte Rosa Buchholz (responsible) Raufeld Medien GmbH Paul-Lincke-Ufer 42/43, 10999 Berlin Tel: +49 (0) 30 695 665 - 89 Sales Management Elke Gersdorf, e.gersdorf@taxi-times.com Tel: +49 (0) 89 – 14 83 87 92 Fax: +49 (0) 89 – 14 83 87 89 Printing Chroma Druckerei Imwalidow 9, 68 200 Zarky, Poland Taxi-Times is published 6 times a year Price 6,80 € ISSN-Nr.: 2199-4048 Website: www.taxi-times.com/en News update Or contact us: Mail: abo@taxi-times.com Phone.: +49 89 215 48 30 75 Know what is happening in the taxi world The newsletter with international taxi topics · This always keeps you up to date · The latest updates from the taxi world · In English and German Register now for free below ... www.taxi-times.com/en/newsletter 26 taxi-times Verlags GmbH new: Frankfurter Ring 193a D-80807 Munich Tel.: Fax: Mail: +49 89 215 48 30 70 +49 89 215 48 30 79 info@taxi-times.com

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